In 1926, on the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, the children and government of Poland had undertaken a massive effort of friendship with their Polish Declaration of Admiration & Friendship for the USA. Poland had only re-emerged 8 years earlier at the end of World War I, from nearly a 150 years of occupation! Imagine if you will, a nation occupied nearly the entire history of these United States of America who with the help of the Allied Powers in World War I (including the USA) and with the aid of Americans (USA and Canadians) who formed an expatriate army, known as Haller’s Army or the Polish Army in France. These Allied Powers through 1918 and Haller’s Army through the early 1920 skirmishes, re-established the borders of Poland between the two World Wars and bottled up Communism for another two decades.
You will be forgiven gentle reader if you have never heard of this gift from the people and government of Poland to the people and government of the USA on their 150th Anniversary of our nation’s founding. President Calvin Coolidge received the gift and placed it into the Library of Congress (LOC) where it was forgotten until 70 years later in 1996 when it was re-discovered. The LOC has digitized 13 of the 111 volumes which has the signatures of approximately 5.5 Million Polish school children. There is also an index to the location names of the schools in the other volumes that have not yet been digitized. The main LOC page (also reachable from the index page above is here):
The LOC has not produced a searchable index person names from the digitized volumes. Fortunately, there exists a web app with nearly 3,000 pages scanned to produce a person name index of nearly 250,000 people by the the PTG (Polish Genealogical Society) with a summary of the project so far here. The PTG searchable index is reachable from their main page:
and clicking upon ‘Declarations‘ on the left side of the main page. The page is in Polish. ‘Tom’ = Volume (type 1 – 13) and ‘Strona’ = Page. You can use the LOC website to locate the volume and page of interest to you and reach the same page here at PTG. You enter the TOM and the STRONA and click on the ‘Pokaz’ button to go to the image of that volume and page to read the names. Remember that most schools have more than one page. PTG however, also has a way to search on the names. In the first field (no name) you can type a last name and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search on the name. The check box (‘dokladnie’) should be left unchecked (to avoid having to enter diacritics) for the name you are searching on. Many American Polish names are spelled differently from their original names in Poland. You can overcome this somewhat by using a wildcard character at the end. For example, if Stanczyk wanted to search for ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ, he could enter ‘EL%’ and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search for those possible spellings.
The wildcard can also be used in the middle as shown in the picture below:
Stanczyk got all good matches except for number 2. In particular, matches 3,4,5 are probably Stanczyk’s ancestors, since Tom/Volume 13, Strona/Page 419-420 is for the school in the village of Pacanow from whence Stanczyk’s direct lineage comes from. Now I could use those Tom’s and Strona’s to bring up the image of the page with those signatures and save the image in my family history.
There is also a nice web page in the LOC, called Emblem of Goodwill with many details of the friendship between Poland and the USA. It also includes pictures of the artwork in the volumes and even a few photos of two classes.
This jester always eagerly awaits, Fred Hoffman‘s Gen Dobry newsletter every month. As usual I was intrigued by an article. They wrote about Stan Musial and how on February 15, 2011 how President Obama presented him (along with others) the Presidential Medal of Honor. Like moje zona, I keep a database of my ethnicity in my head. This also intrigued me as the MUSIAL (or more likely, MUSIAŁ) name is also found in my grandparents parish and it is found in some abundance in Detroit / Toledo areas. In fact, there is at least one Musial-Eliasz combination from Detroit/Toledo, so I mused, “Was Stan the Man’s family from my ancestral villages?”.
That is the premise of today’s blog. I went to the Wikipedia link above and found out that Stan’s father was Lukasz and that Stan was born in Donora, PA (nestled on the banks of the Monongahela River in South-West corner of PA). Since Stan was born in Donora, PA, then perhaps it was his father who emigrated to the USA. So I went to Ancestry.com and searched their Immigration records for Lukasz. Of course, as most Polish names are, it was misspelled (Musial was correct, but Lukasz was spelled/indexed as Lukacz). Lukasz came from Myslowa and arrived in the US on 30th-January-1910 on the President Grant ship at the age of 16 (implies a birth year about 1894)! He was heading to Donora, PA. I’d say, I found my man. Oh Stan, if you are interested, your grandfather’s name is Piotr. Lukasz’s ship manifest said he was born in Myslowa. Stanczyk did not know the name of Myslowa, so I went to the mapa.szukacz.pl website tried to locate it. It came up with three possibilities in present day Poland and all were spelled Myslow. I did check the excellent reference by Brian Lenius and it did show a Myslowa and indicated its parish was: Podwoloczyska [the ship manifest did indicate Austria-Polish]. So no matter which of the four locales are correct, the MUSIALs were NOT from my ancestral villages.
But if you are related to “Stan the Pan” Musial, then perhaps this is the lead you need to follow up on. Congratulations Stan Musial on your well deserved Medal of Honor.
Today, as I await the arrival of Aleksander & Chase, I was reading some Polish / Latin microfilm from the parish of Swiniary (south eastern Poland of today). I was searching for a marriage record for Tomasz Leszczynski & Julianna Kordos. No success in that hunt.
But I did find Julianna’s parent’s marriage record (in 1832) ! So that was exciting. Previously, I had found Julianna’s birth record in the year after her parents were married. But I found a bonus piece of data in an index and again in the Latin Box format of an ancestor of mine. This excited me, because this was the earliest Eliasz found in the parish of Pacanow. His name was Jakob Eliasz, yes, that is E-L-I-A-S-Z (not ELIJASZ as is the Russian form). Jakob was a 40 year old widower from Pacanow who married Katarzyna Paszenska of Oblekon, who was only 23 years old. House #1! That is usually the first house in a village and was most likely the house nearest the church. I am uncertain whether this was house number one in Pacanow or Oblekon ( I am, leaning to Oblekon since this is the Swiniary parish). But that is a bit surprising that a man from Pacanow ventured a bit up stream along the Vistula river to Oblekon to marry a woman. This was marriage on 4th-October-1797, so Jakob must have been born about 1757. So this the only record of I have of an Eliasz in Pacanow in the 18th century. The LDS microfilm for Pacanow spans only the years 1875-1884.
Jakob pre-dates Stanczyk’s 2nd-great-grandfather Marcin Elijasz, who was born about 1819 and who I know died in 1879 at the age of 60 (oh how Stanczyk hates those ages that end in zeroes). On that basis, I assume that Marcin was born in Pacanow in 1819. So Jakob predates Marcin by about 62 years. That makes Jakob about 2 or 3 generations earlier than Marcin. Perhaps, I will be able to add that many generations to my family tree in my lineal descent line. Does anyone out there have a marriage record for Marcin Eliasz (or Elijasz) married to Anna Zasucha?
The Biechow parish Stanczyk keeps writing about was shuffled amongst many administration units that changed as the borders changed, which in Europe was often. After the partitions started in 1772, my ancestors were briefly in the Austrian partition. In the Napoleonic era, they were a part of the Duchy of Warsaw and were in the Departmente of Krakow. Post Napoleon, they were in the Kielce wojewodztwo of the Congress Kingdom of Poland. My ancestral villages pretty much stayed put after that point and were in Kielce wojewwodztwo or gubernia depending on the whims of the czar until about 1918. Today, they are in wojewodztwo of SwietyKrzyskie.
The records were originally kept in Latin. The earliest Latin records were scant/terse, let me call them blurbs, like little Power-Point bullets scrawled upon the pages of the church books. Eventually they became more formulaic and I’d see what I call the Latin paragraph form (really a few sentences). Copies would be made and shipped to the Archdiocese Archives and these were often recorded in the Latin Box form that was prevalent in the Austrian partition. Napoleon while he was briefly in charge, instituted a format according to the Napoleonic code, that was written in the lingua franca of each locale. So about 1805, we see the church records being kept in a Polish paragraph form (quite long) as specified by the Napoleonic Codex. In 1868, the Czar decreed a change from Polish to Russian, but the Napoleonic format stayed, so the records switched from Polish paragraphs to Russian/Cyrillic paragraphs. So this jester since he was forced to, has acquired the ability to read enough Latin to read the genealogical blurbs of Catholic priests and is quite skilled in reading the Polish paragraphs and is still increasing his knowledge of Russian paragraphs, but has long since been able to pick out the salient facts of the vital records even in Russian with Cyrillic character set (as opposed to Polish language written in the Latin alphabet).
Now let me hasten to add, that this was true of Catholic church records. Obviously if your ancestors were Jewish, then you have additional burdens in your research, including reading Hebrew. The format of recording vital records also differed amongst the three partitioning / occupying Empires. Stanczyk writes from a Russian-Poland partition experience.
Having said that, in a very long preamble, today’s post is about the pre-partitioned, Polish vital records. In 1753 & 1754 these were Latin paragraph form (very terse still, but better than those of the 17th century). I want to examine a couple of these records for today’s discourse and ask for some help. Here is what we are dealing with …
Stanczyk’s eyes weary fast when trying to read these early Latin blurbs. Handwriting had not been perfected in those days. Also I find a good many misspellings on the family names or sometimes even the village names. This is still better than what was present in the 17th century. Each line starts with a day (month, year are usually assumed). These are really baptismal record (as opposed to birth), so it records the baptism, the parents and the God Parents of the baby and the villages of the people involved.
Now here is where Stanczyk is looking for help. Please take a look at the next image (click on it to see a full size copy) and help this jester understand the concept of ‘alias’. In this record we will see a surname of Michałek as an alias for Materna. Is this some kind of case of name “evolution”. The Michałek family name disappears and the Materna family name becomes a common village surname. Why would a surname become aliased? In these early Latin records, it happens a few times and Stanczyk is trying to understand what is happening and why?
|1814||Groom||Age||Bride||Age||Rec#’s||Notes||Widowed||Galician Village||~Birth Yr, Groom||~Birth Yr, Bride|
|1||Wincenty Sardela||24||Maryanna Zarazionka||25||115,116,117||1790||1789|
|2||Wincenty Rayczowski||19||Maryanna Kaminszczonka||19||112,113,114||1795||1795|
|3||Ignacy Maychra||25||Franciszka Sobonka||24||109,110,111||bride was a widow||1||1789||1790|
|4||Piotr Orlowski||23||Katarzyna Kotanska||22||106,107,108||1791||1792|
|5||Marcin Grzywacz||23||Maryanna Zmyslowna||24||103,104,105||1791||1790|
|6||Michal Watroba||22||Franciszka Czaplonka||16||100,101,102||1792||1798|
|7||Jan Luszcz||18||Katarzyna Mrzyglodowna||15||98,99||no marriage record||1||1796||1799|
|8||Jakob Bayka||24||Anjela Maychrowna||20||96,97||groom was a widower; no marriage record||1||1790||1794|
|9||Gabrych skladzien||28||Elzbieta Jurkowska||17||93,94,95||1786||1797|
|10||Jan Fosara||25||Giertruda Stefanie||18||90,91,92||1789||1796|
|11||Piotr Prukop||23||Magdalena Zmyslowna||36||87,88,89||bride is a widow (maiden name Fortuna)||1||1791||1778|
|12||Maciej Wrobel||23||Malgorzata Domin||20||86||only marriage record (no banns)||1791||1794|
|13||Jan Kanty Woycika||40||Elzbieta Cepilka||34||83,84,85||both were widowed.||1||Szczucin||1774||1780|
|14||Jozef Obara||32||Malgorzata Wieczorkowa||30||80,81,82||bride was a widow||1||1782||1784|
|15||Marcin Piopzona||27||Maryanna Stracka||29||77,78,79||1787||1785|
|16||Maciej Wrobel||23||Malgorzata Domin||20||75,76||see marriage record #86||1791||1794|
|17||Jakob Dydysia||40||Franciszka Czaplonka||24||72,73,74||groom was a widower||1||1774||1790|
|18||Lukasz Wodziak||19||Maryanna Poniewierczonka||21||69,70,71||1795||1793|
|19||Grzegorz Smydra||41||Dorota Kaminszczonka||20||66,67,68||groom was a widower||1||1773||1794|
|20||Jan Szydla||19||Marta Goleniowna||18||63,64,65||1795||1796|
|21||Jacenty Fortuna||26||Maryanna Pawelkowna||16||60,61,62||1788||1798|
|22||Grzegorz Ziemba||34||Maryanna Maychrowa||43||57,58,59||bride was a widow||1||1780||1771|
|23||Stanislaw Materna||23||Agnieszka Pekaciczka||34||54,55,56||bride was a widow (maiden name Lutego)||1||1791||1780|
|24||Benedykt Blayda||22||Agnieszka Zielinszczonka||17||51,52,53||1792||1797|
|25||Jan Zdrala||34||Helena Stoykowa||30||49,50||bride was a widow; no marriage record||1||1780||1784|
|26||Jakob Maychra||44||Teresia Karamanaczyna||46||46,47,48||both were widowed.||1||1770||1768|
|27||Maciej Bebel||21||Maryanna Pireczka||21||43,44,45||1793||1793|
|28||Franciszek Garstka||30||Malgorzata Zaraszczonka||25||40,41,42||groom was widower||1||1784||1789|
|29||Marcin Juda||41||Maryanna Salaszyna||30||37,38,39||both were widowed.||1||1773||1784|
|30||Jakob Domin||40||Agata Wroblowna||25||34,35,36||1774||1789|
|31||Piotr Ragana||29||Kunegunda Blaydowna||24||31,32,33||1785||1790|
|32||Kazimierz Walaska||54||Malgorzata Maychrowa||35||28,29,30||both were widowed.||1||1760||1779|
|33||Maciej Luszcz||41||Barbara Leykowna||22||25,26,27||groom was a widower||1||1773||1792|
|34||Woyciech Omyla||30||Helena Zarazionka||16||22,23,24||groom was a widower||1||1784||1798|
|35||Woyciech Zdybia||33||Jadwiga Cyskowa||25||19,20,21||both were widowed.||1||1781||1789|
|36||Jozef Kosiolka||53||Maryanna Gorszczonka||27||16,17,18||groom was a widower||1||1761||1787|
|37||Stanislaw Dalackowski||60||Helena Goleniewska||44||13,14,15||both were widowed.||1||1754||1770|
|38||Kazimierz Kordos||56||Maryanna Stokarzka||38||10,11,12||both were widowed.||1||1758||1776|
|39||Jan Kaminski||56||Elzbieta Nowakowna||29||7,8,9||groom was a widower||1||1758||1785|
|40||Grzegorz Kopcia||46||Helena Nowakowa||24||4,5,6||both were widowed.||1||1768||1790|
|41||Bartlomiej Obara||45||Maryanna Wroblowna||20||1,2,3||groom was a widower||1||1769||1794|
|Avg Male Age||32.59||Avg Female Age||25.44||Percentage of 2nd Marriages:||58.54|
Happy New Year, genealogists (and others)! This year Stanczyk wanted to start with a posting of where his roots are from and hope that another genealogist with similar roots may have leads or other info for me.
Biechow – the original parish I knew of from Ellis Island ship manifests. Many Eliasz and Leszczynski came from here. Moje Busia said she was born here as did my eldest aunt (Alice, aka Aleksandra). I need to find their birth records to confirm. All Leszczynski birth records have been found here.
Pacanow – this is where my grandmother, Walerya emigrated from. In 1913 she said she came from her father, Tomasz Leszczynski in Pacanow. My grandfather and all of his siblings whose birth recorsd have bee found were born here. I also have my great grandfather (Jozef) ‘s marriage record to Marianna Paluch [followed by the birth records of my grandfather, et. al.]. My great-great-grandfather (pra-pra-dziadek) died here in 1919 and as per his death record he was 60(ish). Alas no listing of his parents and I have not located his birth record or his marriage record to Anna Zasucha.
Now Stanczyk, has been speaking of parishes, but also these were the villages of record too. In the Biechow parish, many Eliasz (or Elias, Heliasz, Elijasz) have been born/married/or died. These events happened in: Piestrzec (most common), Wojcza, and Chrzanow. The village of Piestrzec, was my great-grandmother, Aniela Major’s birth place.
Kwasow – The village of the Wlecialowskich family births. Kwasow is in the Pacanow parish. Maciej Wlecialowski married my great-grandfather’s sister, Katarzyna Elijasz. Rozalia Wlecialowski was a god-mother to at least one of grandparents’ children (Wladyslaw Jozef Elijasz). Rozalia Wlecialowski came to Detroit and married Adam Joseph Gawlikowski. Roza (aka Ciotka Rosie) would be a life-long friend to moje busia, Walerya.
Zabiec – This village is also in Pacanow parish. My grandfather Jozef said he came from his wife Walerya who resided in Zabiec in 1910. Oddly enough, little Wladyslaw Jozef was born in Biechow parish in 1908 (record #42).
Zborowek and Ksiaznice – These villages were once parishes (of some kind) and are now a part of Pacanow parish. Some Elijasz were born or married here.
Swiniary – This parish and the village was the birth place of my great-grandfather Tomasz Leszczynski’s first wife: Julianna Kordos. Might this be the place he was married in too? Perhaps 2011 will bring an answer to this question.
This jester is searching for: Eliasz/Elijasz/Heliasz, Leszczynski, Wlecialowski, Paluch, Major, Zasucha, Kordos, and Kedzierski from these villages. Many other families from these villages are represented in our family tree:
Bugay, Czapla, Fortuna, Grudzien, Mizdrak, Janoski/Janowski, Baran, Podolski, Wrzesnia, Wrobel, Bebel, Bordziak, Kostyra, Gadawska, Gula, Gawron, Garztka, Kopra, Maliga, Maicher, Nalepa, and too many others. Eventually most families from the above villages inter0married over the centuries. Please write to me if you a family name above or a village from above.
The image above and the second image below are the top and bottom digital picture of the 1810 Birth Index page from Biechow parish (of Stopnica powiat).
A Transcription of names is as follows:
Birth Record Name
15 Balicki, Jan Kanty
16 Bugay, Katarzyna
3 Ciosiowna, Rosalia
18 Czapla, Andrzey
1 Domin, Jadwiga
13 Fitas, Franciszek
11 Gladysz, Franciszek
12 Gula, Marcin
28 Golen, Mikolaj
4 Koziol. Michal
22 Krzemienski, Barbara
2 Luszcz, Rosalia
23 Lukasik, Tomasz
24 Pinkiasz, Hercyk (Szmulowicz) Jewish
25 Pekacik, Ewa
10 Resil, Katarzyna
21 Rzand, Barbara
5 Siuda, Jadwiga
6 Sobon, Tekla
26 Stefanie, Kasper
7 Wrobel, Michal
9 Wach, Jadwiga
17 Watroba, Salomea
8 Zdrowski, Antoni Michal (dwoyga Imion)
19 Zmysla, Stanislaw i Andrzey (bliznieta=twins)
“Digitalization of Leszno Archive“
21 December 2010
The State Archive in Leszno and Poznan invite you to promote the project “Digitalization of Leszno Archive. ” The meeting will be held on Wednesday 22 December this year(2010) at 11.00 at the headquarters of the State Archive in Leszno, Street: Solski 71st Promotion will be accompanied by the opening of the exhibition “The History of Leszno in the Archival Documentation. “
The project was implemented under the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “Digital Resources” priority “Digitisation of Archival Heritage” with the cooperation of the City of Leszno.